Butter Cake

12 Servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes

Butter Cake is sweet, airy, and easy to make. The simple batter made with pantry ingredients is baked to buttery perfection in 30 minutes.

Butter Cake is fairly similar to a Classic Pound Cake, however, there are some key differences between the two Dessert Recipes. While Pound Cake and Butter Cake both use similar pantry ingredients, they use different ratios of them, so Butter Cake turns out as a more airy and delicate cake than a rich and thick pound cake. Either one is a simple and delicious vanilla cake that is perfect for any occasion.

Butter Cake dusted with powdered sugar sliced on plate with fork


It only takes a few simple ingredients to make this easy buttery cake with a sweet and smooth flavor. The ½ cup butter is mixed with the sugar until they are light and airy. Then the rest of the ingredients are added one at a time to the buttery base. The butter and sugar mixture does a perfect job making the cake moist, so each bite just melts in your mouth. Every fork full is absolute bliss!

An unfrosted Butter Cake is light, sweet, and moist enough that it tastes delicious plain. However, you could add some glaze, frosting, or other toppings if you want a bit of extra flavor. Try adding a light layer of Buttercream, Cream Cheese Frosting, or scooping Strawberry Topping over the soft cake.

Butter Cake collage of prep steps

This is the perfect cake to serve for a family dessert after dinner, or as an easy tea cake. The airy, rich cake is perfect to enjoy with a mug of tea or coffee for a delicate afternoon snack.



  • Prep time: Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees, and spray an 8×8 inch cake tin with nonstick cooking spray so that the cake is easy to remove after baking. If you don’t have baking spray, you can lightly grease the pan with butter.
  • Wet ingredients: Add the room temperature butter and granulated sugar to the stand mixer. Beat at high speed for 3-4 minutes until it is light and fluffy. It’s important not to skip or shorten this step, otherwise, you won’t get the same amazing fluffy cake. Add the eggs and vanilla to the butter mixture and mix until smooth. Then mix in the milk until just combined.
  • Dry ingredients: In a separate mixing bowl, sift the all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt together. Then slowly add the flour mixture to the rest of the cake batter. Keep the mixer at its lowest speed until just combined. Be careful not to over-mix the batter.
  • Baking time: Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish and put it in the oven for 30-35 minutes. To check if the cake is done, stick a toothpick in the center. Once the toothpick comes out clean take the Butter Cake from the oven. Let the warm cake cool completely before you slice and serve it.

Butter Cake in 8x8 baking pan after baking with powdered sugar dusted


  • Toppings: Butter Cake is a classic and versatile recipe that you can enjoy plain, or you can add a variety of your favorite toppings. Try adding a dusting of powdered sugar for a simple but beautiful look. You could also add a fresh berry topping with blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries. Or, top it all off with a simple glaze.
  • Buttery sauce: Another option is topping the cake off with homemade butter sauce. To make the sauce melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a small saucepan. Then stir in 2 tablespoons sugar, 1 egg yolk, and 1 tablespoon water. Stir over low heat for 3-4 minutes until the mixture comes to a boil. Remove from the heat and serve sauce over cake.
  • Lemon Butter Cake: For some citrus flavor add a tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice to the cake batter. You can also add some lemon zest and garnish the cake with lemon slices.
  • Bundt Butter Cake: If you prefer the shape of bundt cakes, you can bake the fluffy Butter Cake in mini bundt pans. It will make adorable mini-cakes perfect for a party.

Butter Cake dusted with powdered sugar sliced in baking pan



  • Serve: After baking, homemade Butter Cake will stay fresh for about 2 hours left out. However, to keep it moist you’ll want to properly store any leftover cake.
  • Store: You can wrap the whole cake with aluminum foil or plastic wrap, or slice the delicious cake into pieces to store in an airtight container. Kept sealed, it will be good at room temperature for up to 2 days. You could also store it in the fridge for up to 1 week.
  • Freeze: To freeze Butter Cake, cut it into pieces and place them in an airtight container with the layers separated by parchment paper. It’ll keep well for up to 6 months.

Butter Cake dusted with powdered sugar sliced on plate with fork

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Butter Cake

Butter Cake is sweet, airy, and easy to make. The simple batter made with pantry ingredients is baked to buttery perfection in 30 minutes.
Yield 12 Servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter , softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray an 8x8 baking dish with baking spray.
  • Add butter and sugar and beat on high speed until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes (do not shorten this).
  • Add in eggs and vanilla until smooth.
  • Add in milk on lowest speed setting until just combined.
  • Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt.
  • On the lowest speed setting add the dry mixture until just combined.
  • Pour into the baking dish and bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Cool completely before serving.


Calories: 213kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 53mg | Sodium: 117mg | Potassium: 119mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 306IU | Calcium: 56mg | Iron: 1mg
Keyword: Butter Cake

Butter Cake Collage

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

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